Archive for July, 2011
Case study: Developing staff – and the business – at The Interiors Group, with Dinamiks, an online approach to employee performance management
The Interiors Group provides high quality office interior fit out and refurbishment solutions. The firm works closely with architects, interior designers, property agents and other parties to achieve the desired result.
Key point and main goal: the group takes full responsibility for every project in order to deliver the best possible working environment.
The Interiors Group is based in the UK and has recently launched its United Arab Emirates operation, in Abu Dhabi.
The driver for change
The Interiors Group sees staff as an asset and, in the words of the group’s Financial Director Mark Pilkington, “it is important that they are given the tools to work effectively, in order for the group to deliver the best possible service.”
For many years those tools comprised a paper based employee performance appraisal system. “Paper has its limitations and so one thing the board has been keen to do is to implement more automated systems,” says Pilkington. “We believe the objective setting/review/appraisal process is an important one, both from the company and the employee point of view.
“Automation was seen as the way forward because it provides speed as well as flexibility within a framework, and a foundation upon which additional tools – such as competencies and brand values – could be added by the supplier.”
Pilkington adds that The Interiors Group has always measured competencies and was looking for a competency measurement and analysis tool to be added to the automated employee performance management system that was selected.
The group selected the new, web-based Dinamiks – developed by Chichester-based Dinamiks Ltd – as its system of choice in early 2010.
“We chose Dinamiks because it met all our criteria – a web-based system that automated much of the review/appraisal process,” says Pilkington. “We also wanted (i) something that would be easy to learn and use and (ii) a system through which employees could see and monitor their progress.”
“Dinamiks doesn’t just focus on the ‘what are you going to get done during your employment with us,’ but also gives staff the chance to highlight areas for personal development and training, which is important to us as a company.”
“As a business, we are growing very rapidly and it is important that staff, including line managers, are not swallowed up by paper and procedures. Automation would move us away from those issues.”
Gaining buy-in to the new approach
New initiatives in any type of organisation can meet with acceptance or opposition, or a mix of the two. At The Interiors Group, buy-in to the use of Dinamiks was helped by two factors, as Pilkington explains. “All members of staff could see that everyone else was involved – yes, even the CEO. That sort of transparent view of involvement from the top down really facilitates buy-in. Secondly, being web-based helped to overcome any lingering fears or reluctance. We are all familiar with the web, going online and logging in where we have to. With Dinamiks being just a part of that experience, buy-in was greatly simplified.”
There was an added and significant advantage to the web-based approach – “it wouldn’t tie up our own servers and IT department’s time. No installation or desktop rollout, or hardware or software clashes, were involved,” Pilkington points out.
The group began using Dinamiks in February 2010, with the aim of having all objectives for the new financial year in place by the end of March 2010. “This was achieved, I’m pleased to say. We envisage using the system on an ongoing basis. Why? Because, it will enable us to build up a history for each employee and monitor progress year on year. Also, it seems to work for all concerned.”
First-hand view of progress
At The Interiors Group, Mark Pilkington is responsible for HR issues and it was in that capacity – and that of board director, as FD – that he assumed the role of overseeing the introduction and ongoing use of Dinamiks. He therefore has a first-hand view of how staff and the CEO took to it.
“There will always be some resistance to change in any organisation. It seems to be human nature. We carefully managed the implementation process in order to gradually introduce the system and its benefits. We started by telling staff what we were planning and why. Then, once the initial data had been uploaded, I started with the CEO and then worked my way round the line managers. They were shown how to use the system and how it relates to the company as a whole.”
“Training took very little time, which is both a compliment to the system’s designers and to our people, who ‘bought in’ with minimal fuss, once they knew the benefits to them and the business.”
Everybody in the group – even the non-exec chairman – uses Dinamiks.
“The board has set company goals on an annual basis for many, many years,” says Pilkington. “Using Dinamiks hasn’t changed that, but it has helped us, as a board, communicate those goals to all staff and show staff how they can help us achieve the goals. Staff are encouraged to regularly revisit Dinamiks and input progress notes, which they are doing.”
Return on Investment
It’s early days yet to give a figure for ROI. The group is currently holding interim reviews, six months after the initial ‘go-live’, and, once completed, this should give the first marker in the success of the system. “However, short term I can say that Dinamiks has undoubtedly saved us time and, therefore, money,” he adds. “And it’s meeting our, and especially my, expectations.”
Summary of benefits
In Mark Pilkington’s words…
– Easy-to-use, with minimal training required.
– Being web-based, no installation of software is involved – which means that Dinamiks doesn’t use internal IT resources, such as server space, or support. Also, web-based means that staff, including me, can access it any time and anywhere where there is a web connection. We are not restricted to using it while at work. That gives it great flexibility.
– The system gives me a wide range of performance, behaviour and attitude measurement options, enabling me to fine-tune it to Interior Groups’ specific needs. This saves time and allows us to focus on what we want to achieve more quickly.
– Dinamiks allows the board to communicate the company goals to staff more effectively.
– Dinamiks overcomes the drawback of paper-based appraisals. And it helps to show that performance measurement is an objective, not subjective, action. That is important in situations where some individuals might take things more personally than they ought to, as can happen during face-to-face, paper-based appraisals.
– It enables staff to work more effectively. These are early days yet but because Dinamiks is saving us time – and also helping us to be more effective while at work – crucially it is also saving The Interiors Group money.
– Futureproofs the way we manage staff performance.
Quality of support
“So far, support has been very good. They have been quick to respond to any queries and, more importantly, are also open to suggestions for further development of Dinamiks in areas like assessment of skills and knowledge” – Mark Pilkington, Financial Director, The Interiors Group
“Dinamiks is a useful, easy-to-use and learn system that will help us develop staff, and therefore the company, over the coming years” – Mark Pilkington, Financial Director, The Interiors Group.
More at: www.interiorsgroup.co.uk
July 25th 2011. Dinamiks Ltd has announced that the new Job Roles module for its online employee performance management tool, Dinamiks, went live on July 7th.
Job Roles allows the Dinamiks administrator to add specific competencies to a job role, which helps with talent management and compliance requirements. “Specifically, Job Roles allows for all employees to have all mandatory competencies within their appraisal, and non-mandatory competencies in individuals’ appraisals for their specific job role,” says Shirley Barnes, Client Relationship Director, Dinamiks Limited.
Administrators can identify the competency or competencies required for a specific role and then develop the person who is in that job role. “In many cases, the job role will represent what the employer organisation wants the employee to develop into,” says Barnes.
The new Customer Customisation feature enables the Dinamiks administrator to schedule reminders either weekly or monthly, customise the login page with the user company’s own logo, and customise the automated emails with his or here own support contact details.
Dinamiks at a glance
Available 24/7 via secure web access, Dinamiks reduces costs and inefficiencies, develops and motivates staff, aligns employees with business goals, helps deliver up to the minute appraisals, improves HR processes, shows where training or coaching is required – and helps with compliance and employment law across sectors.
Note to the press.
For further information please contact:
Shirley Barnes, Client Relationship Director, Dinamiks Ltd Tel (+44) (0)1243 538835 email@example.com
Or Paul Whitehead, Western Associates PR, (+44) (0)1403 711177 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Centre for Sustainable Design – CfSD – to provide training for the new ISO 14006 eco design standard
July 22nd 2011 The Centre for Sustainable Design [CfSD] in Farnham, Surrey [UK] has announced it is to provide training for ISO 14006, a new guidance standard designed to facilitate eco design. ISO 14006 was published on July 8th 2011, some two months ahead of schedule, and is expected by CfSD to be used by corporates and SMEs alike.
CfSD director Martin Charter, who was global convener of the ISO working group responsible for the standard and intimately involved with forming its content, says it will “provide practical guidance on how to manage eco design within existing management systems, speeding up opportunities to design, develop and produce profitable products with lower environmental impact.”
He adds, “With ISO 14006, manufacturers carrying out eco design can realise benefits in cost reduction, improved stakeholder and supply chain relationships, and improve image, employee motivation and innovation while maintaining the integrity of their EMS.
“But these benefits arise from changes in critical strategic planning and operational activities and can only be realised if they are anticipated, recognised and recorded as part of the overall corporate goals, objectives and targets.”
It is in these areas that CfSD will provide training, effective immediately.
Says Charter, “The standard is intimately linked to ISO 14001 and will help organisations establish a systematic and structured approach to the incorporation and implementation of eco design activities within an environmental management system such as ISO 14001:2004.
“ISO 14006 is a guidance standard, not a certification standard. It is intended to be applicable to all organisations, regardless of type, size and product provided, but is aimed primarily at those that have an environmental management system, such as ISO 14001:2004, in place.
“It will also be useful if combined with a quality management system in line with ISO 9001, and may be useful for those organisations that have no formalised environmental or quality management system but which are interested in reducing the adverse environmental impacts of their products.”
Charter adds that a guidance standard was needed “because no existing standard specifically covers and relates to the differing areas of knowledge and competencies required for the management of eco design within organisations.”
Enquiries about ISO 14006 training at CfSD should be directed to email@example.com More information at: http://www.cfsd.org.uk/training
The Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD) was established in 1995 at University for the Creative Arts http://www.ucreative.ac.uk The centre provides a range of services focused on “product sustainability” and “sustainable innovation” issues: research, training, consultancy and events. CfSD organises the “Sustainable Innovation” series of international conferences, now in its 16th year – see:
More information about The Centre for Sustainable Design:
Note to the press: for further information please contact:
Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design, University for the Creative Arts T: +44 (0)1252-892772 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or Paul Whitehead, Western Associates PR, T: +44 (0)1403 711177
http://www.western-pr.com E: email@example.com
July 12th 2011 Renowned retail sales specialist Nicky Pattinson is back in the UK after her whirlwind two month speaking tour of the USA including New York, Colorado, Hollywood and other parts of California – and is lined up to speak in Hull in October.
Nicky – and special guests – will speak at her “From Hollywood to Hull” event on October 20th at the Hull Truck Theatre, an experience that will change the way retailers sell and put more £s in their tills. Tickets are £62 from www.hiyaitsnicky.com and the event will excite all those who want to change the way they are selling their products or services.
“Nicky is a genius – like magic dust” – John Thornton, store manager, Tefal.
“Drop everything and turn up” – Peter Eissenem, The Mann Group, New York.
As Nick Dean, a partner in Hull law firm Gosschalks, who has employed Nicky’s services, says, “Nicky simply turns things upside down and inside out. She’s not what you would expect and is all the better for it.”
John Buttrick, Manager, Hull Children’s University, another client of Nicky’s, says “I can simply sum her up as ‘a woman of Steel with a heart of gold’. I’ve observed the impact which she’s had on both business folk and my students here at the University of Hull. A truly inspirational lady who reaches the very core of one’s soul, resulting in bringing one’s esteem, confidence and self belief to the forefront of one’s thinking and actions.”
Hull is one of Nicky’s favourite places and that’s reflected in the fact that she has worked there intensively with staff and management from local companies and organisations, including 543 Dental Centre Ltd, Gosschalks, Hull Children’s University – and The Sewell Group.
Sewell Group is a Times Top 100, multi-industry company that has been in existence for 135 years and whose managing director, Paul Sewell, was awarded an OBE this year. Also in 2011, Sewell Group was ranked seventh best company to work for in the UK by the Sunday Times. It is the third year running the firm has made the top 100 – the only company in Hull to
Ah, the hype! Nicky lives up to it and then some – “Genius”.
David Shimwell, Franchise Director, Pitman Group, says, “Nicky is one of the few people I have ever met who actually lives up to the hype.”
Nicky – motto “Show Business Selling” – is lauded by Tim Davey, Chairman of Yorkshire’s Northside Mercedes, who describes her as a “sales and motivation genius”.
“You don’t get plaudits like these for nothing,” says Holmfirth-based Nicky. “its hard graft, what I say and how I do things that brings them in. And now that I’ve wowed the Americans, I’m back in Hull to do the business and help people in these difficult economic times.
Note to the press: there’s more about Nicky at hiyaitsnicky.com
www.bluesprout.co.uk is organising the event.
If you want to interview Nicky, or need more information or a photo, contact Paul Whitehead, Western Associates PR firstname.lastname@example.org 01403-711177
TerraQuest, the business and property solutions provider, has purchased a licence to use Dinamiks’ online employee performance management solution. It will be used by TerraQuest for staff appraisals, target and goal attainment and to identify where staff training is required.
With more than 100 staff in offices located in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast and London, TerraQuest is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mears Group plc, which is also the UK’s leading provider of social housing repairs and maintenance and domiciliary care. TerraQuest provides innovative property and asset management and business process solutions to central, local and devolved government – and many blue chip clients in the private sector.
Robin Platts, TerraQuest Operations Director, says the key driver for the purchase was to radically overhaul the appraisals approach and process. “We had a paper based approach to appraisals, which was very cumbersome and time consuming to complete,” he says.
“There were issues around managing the process so that appraisals were carried out and recorded promptly, with a clear visibility of the status. In addition, the existing paper based system lacked interaction and prompting. This meant that targets and goals were not measured for completeness against time, and training needs were not being fully addressed.
“We looked for an easy to administer and use system that was cost effective for an SME like TerraQuest,” says Platts. “We chose Dinamiks, which we see as enabling us to invest in, and manage the needs of, our colleagues, and ensure that appraisals are meaningful and not just given lip service to. All staff will use it from our MD, Carol Summers down and across all levels.”
Developed by Dinamiks Ltd and used by SMEs nationally in the UK and globally across continents, Dinamiks reduces costs and inefficiencies, develops and motivates staff, aligns employees with business goals – and helps with compliance and employment law across sectors. It is targeted at key decision makers including managing directors, financial directors, heads of HR and business performance improvement specialists.
Modules include Competencies and Values, and, starting in July 2011, Job Roles.
More about Dinamiks at www.ikdevelopments.com
More about TerraQuest at www.terraquest.co.uk
More about Mears Group at www.mearsgroup.co.uk
Note to the press. For further information please contact:
Shirley Barnes, Client Relationship Director, Dinamiks Ltd.
T: 01243 538835 E: email@example.com
Robin Platts, Operations Director, TerraQuest.
T: 0121 234 1300 M: 0791 746 2013 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or Paul Whitehead, Western Associates PR,
T : 01403 711177 E : email@example.com